It’s all oranges and lemons in Relleu / by Heather Taylor

It is officially day 4 of my trip away to write. This is probably the first time I’ve ever done this. So far I’ve been semi successful. I’ve written the outline to a short film (that I should have done a month ago), wrote 2 blog posts and completed the first 11 pages of a screenplay. I also played an entire game of Civilization, taught Karen how to play Cribbage, watched the first episode of Treme and re-read Salinger’s “For Esme – with Love and Squalor.”

I’m currently in the sleepy little village of Relleu which is about an hour from Alicante. They are known for their orange, lemon and almond trees and I was lucky enough to catch the end of the almond blossoms. I’m also lucky enough to be eating oranges directly from the trees. I can’t even describe how amazing they are. All I know is no other orange will compare.

I don’t have a routine yet but I have been lying in a lot and visiting with my friend Karen. Sadly, she went home this morning after being a month away herself. On my first day, she took me around the village and her Spanish is quite good. Mine does not exist. I really don’t know any Spanish and I seem to be becoming one of those ignorant tourists. The ones who talk English loudly and slowly as if that will make someone who doesn’t speak English suddenly understand. It’s idiotic. But yet, when flustered, I have no control of my mouth. “O-LA…THOSE…OL…IVES…PLEA…SE. THANK…YOU…GRA…CI…OUS.” Ugh.

After the village tour, we went for a little road trip. First stop, the sea. While sitting by the water, we ate some sort of Lobster/rice/broth concoction that this area is known for. It was followed by a good walk in the sand – you know, the kind where you really get your toes in? I do love sandy beaches. I’m still confused by rock ones. A beach isn’t a beach unless you can run around on it without your shoes. Those who do that on rocky beaches are just crazy.

Of course, we finished off with a sorbet as we walked back to the car. That is the proper end to a walk by the sea. Or so I’ve been told.

As a last minute decision, we went to Benidrom also known as Elephant and Castle-by-the-sea. As you drive up the road, these insane towers appear out of nowhere. It’s surreal. We likened it to the feeling Dorothy had when entering OZ. Pointed towers clustered by the sea.

We drove through and back out to head home and got stuck in a series of T-junctions built in empty lots. The waste lands of dream homes never to be. It did give us a good view of Benidrom – tall and thin, the town barely left the water’s edge. Only 5 minutes drive and it was mere horizon.

The last place we visited was the mysterious village of Finestrat. Now this was only deemed mysterious as Karen kept seeing signs going to Finestrat but never found it. So our last mission of the day was to go there. Karen assumed it was going to be a tiny non-town and this build up would be for nothing. Instead we found a cute little mountain village with a bustling main street AND you could see the sea.

The day we visited, it was carnival. As we wandered the winding streets of Finestrat, we heard music somewhere in the distance. Following the pipers tune, we came across a street of children in costume and a car blaring out top 40 hits. A parade! We followed along as the children and parents went up one hill and turned to go up another. We left them there with a little wave and headed back to the car. The sun was setting and we didn’t want to get lost in the dark.

So now Karen’s gone and it’s just me. I’ve been left on my own with my lack of Spanish, my computer, Internet that only comes on for an hour once every two days, some random books, my iPad and my imagination. Now that I’ve procrastinated with this blog post, perhaps I should get back to my screenplay. Or go for a walk. Hmm…a walk sounds good.